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Our client’s businesses encompass a broad range of financial services asset management, banking and consumer finance, credit and charge cards, insurance, investments, investment banking and trading and use diverse channels to make hem available to consumer and corporate customers around the world. Our client is largely organized into five business groups.

BUSINESS / FUNCTIONALITY

The client traders and salesmen use the MDTS (Mortgage Desktop Trading System) to book Institutional or Retail trades for different products that are available in the market.

Compass (Computerized Pool Allocation System) is a back office system that is used by the Allocators and the MBSCC users to allocate / pair-off the trades booked by the MDTS system.

As one of the premier vendor of the client, Xoriant received the contract for MDTS & Compass project, which is one amongst the first applications that the Mortgage team had decided to migrate and enhance. Hence, Xoriant was accepted as a partner for product development who can also bring in significant technology, process and quality assurance expertise in the software application development space.

OBJECTIVE

The MDTS & Compass migration project migrated the code from Solaris 2.5.1 to Solaris 2.8. In addition, the following upgrades/changes fall within the scope of the migration project:

  • Upgrade Sybase from version 11.9.2 to version 12.5. Upgrade other 3 -party software as indicated section 3.1 in this document.
  • Migrate CodeBase to Sybase 12.5. CodeBase being a flat file structure had to be converted to a database
  • Migrate DBLib to CTLib. The APIs provided by DBLib were very different from the CTLib APIs and we required keeping the logic the same.
  • Move source code from SCM to Teamware/CVS.
  • Move all Cron jobs and distributed Autosys jobs to Central Autosys.
  • Update batch jobs to obtain all passwords through an encrypted mechanism
  • Replace GCS/GPS connectivity from COMPASS with an MQ- based solution
  • Integrate MDTS with the new TESServer lib
  • Develop SS connectivity to TES.

For the above 3 bullets we used the in-house built TBOT libraries for communicating with mainframes. The communication with TBOT libraries was CORBA for sending and TIBCO RV for receiving.

THE CHALLENGE

The major challenges include the following:

  • MDTS & COMPASS systems interacts with about 15 other systems and hence posed many communication related challenges.
  • The changes required for these 2 systems were of the same kind but had to be done on a 2 separate set of codes.
  • The legacy code was not very neatly designed nor documented that made this task even more complicated.
  • The architecture of the system did not segregate the services code from the UI code.
  • The client was carrying out parallel development on the same source tree and hence configuration management of the CVS repository was a major challenge.
  • Logging of the messages was not present for all modules communicating with external systems.
  • The test cases provided by the existing MDTS system were not sufficient to validate the current functionality of the system especially the interfaces with external system.
  • The entire enhancement project required knowledge of multiple technologies and also required domain knowledge of the system.
  • The time duration provided for doing the task was very tight and hence there was immense pressure on the delivery of quality results.

THE SOLUTION

Xoriant Offshore Development Center in Mumbai, India set up a dedicated development and testing team for the client that focused on the migration and enhancements, evaluation and feasibility of all the technology and functionality and Quality assurance - ensuring quality of the product. Xoriant, being a CMM Level 4 company follows a set of guidelines to ensure quality. Xoriant tracks the bugs’ density with the help of the web-based tool. This will also help to set goals for the quality of the project delivery and program managing the overall product engineering processes. The highlights of Xoriant’s solution includes:

  • Delivering a migrated application that works functionally similar to the existing production application.
  • There was no performance degradation in migrated application.
  • Delivered the 3 phases of the system as per the required guidelines.
  • Provided support to the client during UAT and post production for each of the phases
  • Performed multiple merging activity with parallel solutions developed by the client
  • Performed system testing of about 1100 test cases in 2 environments. Validation of the testing process was done with the help of a tool developed by Xoriant
  • The introduction of tools has enhanced the speed of testing the large number of test cases for the MDTS system. The estimated time for testing the manual way was about 24 Person Months. By using the tools the team was able to complete the testing in 12 Person Months. This included the time for analyzing, developing and testing the tool in addition to the testing of the applications. The MDTS application now has more information logged, which can be used for debugging during any similar enhancements
  • The entire project was a 150 Person Month project that was spread over 15 months with an average team size of 10 persons.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & DEPLOYMENT ENVIRONMENT

The client’s product is developed by Xoriant using:

  • C/C++ using Forte 6.2, Xwindows, XMotif, Rogue Wave libraries, IONA (Corba)
  • TIBCO CI / RV
  • Sun Solaris 2.5.1 / 2.8
  • Sybase v 11.9.2 / 12.5.
  • The in house libraries developed by the client like GFINET, TBOT, etc.

STANDARDIZED DEVELOPMENT METHODOLOGY OFFERS FLEXIBILITY TO THE CLIENT

The client and its customers have benefited greatly from the use of Xoriant software development methodology and processes. The use of web based Xoriant’s Knowledge Management repository, Active Communities, has been the key to ensuring 24x7 access to all project documents including status reports, issue logs, escalation issues and data conversion templates. This has been particularly important for remote users enabling them to communicate in real time with local team.

Xoriant not only brought the requisite technical understanding to the project, but significant market expertise as well. Ypoint and worked together for a mutual result and team involvement was encouraged at every phase, giving users the hands-on preparation and exposure they’d need for post- implementation success. This was a demanding & rapid development situation. The commitment and expertise of the Xoriant India team was a major factor in this achievement.

TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECTURE DIAGRAM

ACRONYMS

  • CCS Protocol the client’s in-house built communication protocol for point-topoint communication
  • MQ Protocol IBM MQ-Series (Message Queue)
  • TBOT - the client in-house built services for MQ Series Communication with mainframes.
  • TBA (To Be Announced) trade is the trade that flows from MDTS to Compass.
  • SPEDI A Unix system that is used for communicating with the external systems that is outside the LAN of the client.
  • MACE A Unix system that stores the hedge trade information that gets booked in the MDTS system.
  • GTS A Unix system that is used for communicating the retail trades to the mainframes.
  • SS A mainframe system that stores the TBAOption type of trade.
  • TES A mainframe system that stores the TBA type of trade but only for institutional firm Accounts
  • TMS A mainframe system that stores the TBA type of trade but only for retail firm Accounts

COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS

Xoriant and the client jointly took a well-defined approach for tracking progress for successful completion. This involved the following activities:

  • Daily Activities
  • Technical query resolution process with defined escalation mechanism for critical queries
  • Centralized Knowledge repository for benefit of entire team (Active Community)
  • Daily status updates to all stake holders at operations level
  • Weekly conference calls for Progress review, Issue resolution & Next plans
  • Monthly management reviews

KEY SUCCESS POINTS

The client has realized a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to large technical pool of resources.
  • Built Domain expertise within the team.
  • Standardized & matured development methodologies.
  • Delivery was done in phases, which enabled the client to have much better control on the modules being promoted to production.
  • Delivered a logging tool that could be used by the client for validation during any of their enhancement projects.
  • Cost Effective solution
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